Last week, I shared examples of how our core value of Global Citizenship was playing out on several fronts. Today, I want to turn your attention to several important advocacy issues affecting theatres across borders.
Two intellectual property bills fighting online piracy—SOPA in the Senate, and PIPA in the House of Representatives—were recently introduced, both with potentially far-reaching consequences for creative expression. TCG is concerned these bills contain overly broad provisions and that websites and Internet Service Providers would be forced to monitor activity and that websites could be unilaterally shut down. It is a balancing act to craft legislation that includes meaningful copyright protection and yet does not threaten expression, innovation or commerce for artists online. Please visit the TCG Circle to learn more.
You may have also seen the recent news about Palestine’s successful bid for full membership into UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural arm. The bid was approved in a very controversial vote, with the U.S. “No” vote backed by two ‘90s laws specifying that if Palestine was made a full member in a U.N. agency, the U.S. would suspend funding.
As you may know, TCG is the home for the U.S. Center of ITI (International Theatre Institute), an NGO created by UNESCO. The cessation of U.S. funds to UNESCO will also impact global programs in literacy, gender equality, clean water initiatives and have huge repercussions throughout other U.N. agencies. Last week, Emilya Cachapero attended the U.S. UNESCO commissioners’ meetings where U.S. State Department officials stressed that the Obama administration is deeply committed to cultural engagement with all countries—learn more in her report on the TCG Circle.
The linchpin of ITI’s work is World Theatre Day, and it’s not too early to mark your calendars for March 27, 2012. You may remember Lynn Nottage’s beautiful World Theatre Day address from 2010, and last week, we released Lynn’s I AM THEATRE video, where she shares her moment of conversion from medical student to theatre artist.
As part of 50 Years, 50 Books, we also recently celebrated our publication of The Gospel at Colonus, Lee Breuer’s seminal re-imagining of Sophocles through a black Pentecostal church service. What began at BAM in Brooklyn traveled throughout the country and abroad, culminating in 2008 with a performance for 4,000 people in an outdoor theatre in Greece.
As Lynn said in her address, “We must open the doors and windows of our theatres to let the world in.” We can do that both by strengthening the interdependence of our global theatre movement through advocacy and by celebrating the power of creative expression to transcend borders. Let’s open the windows and let the world in!